Back to Work

by 5by5

Back to Work is an award winning talk show with Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin discussing productivity, communication, work, barriers, constraints, tools, and more. Hosted by Merlin Mann & Dan Benjamin.


Latest Episodes

342: Ultraman Scenario

After some Followup and Front Matter, your hosts dive into iOS 11. (Spoilers: it's really good.)

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Posted on 19 September 2017 | 8:30 pm

341: Rich Boy Phone

This week, Dan and Merlin convene to talk about today's big Apple event.

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Posted on 12 September 2017 | 9:45 pm

340: It's-a Me, Dan!

This week, Dan has useful updates on Windows backup options and answers questions about building a Hackintosh. Both of your hosts extoll the virtues of their new Apple TV remote case dinguses. The big topic this week is Nintendo Switch, and Dan has a lot of great stuff to share about his family's first weekend with their new console. (Spoiler: everybody likes it!) Your hosts respond to listener questions about iOS wishlist items and how to freshen up a moribund OmniFocus setup.

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Posted on 5 September 2017 | 8:00 pm

339: True Love Weighs

TOPIC: Don't provoke Dan. This week, Dan and Merlin (once again) complain about what works and what just kiiiinda works with smart devices. Who's winning the voice control game, and who's struggling to play catchup? Ecosystems! Next up, the boys talk about some surprisingly handy and useful cases for that befuddling Apple TV remote. Also, Dan needs your help to back up Cash's Windows box. Merlin has an important request, too. Also provided are scientific updates on how much a scale weighs. Finally, Merlin offers a whole goddamned book's worth of awesome productivity advice via a cheap notebook and five (5) daily bullet points.

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Posted on 29 August 2017 | 9:00 pm

338: Ambush Site

TOPIC: It's like elevator buttons. This week, Dan and Merlin talk a lot about komodo dragons. Also, homework sucks, seed codes rule, and @Movesapp drools. How do we get so scared about things? How cool did flying used to be? Your hosts respond to listener questions about the state of self-tracking, and the scourge of extraneous device notifications.

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Posted on 22 August 2017 | 7:45 pm

337: Cognitive Bottleneck

TOPIC: How do you know when you're legitimately overwhelmed? This episode, your hosts catch up on Florida, schedule and sleep consistency, ladders vs. walls, travel mania, and the fraught landscape of personal device security. Your hosts respond to listener feedback and questions regarding feeling overwhelmed and dealing with dumb clocks.

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Posted on 18 August 2017 | 9:00 pm

336: Town Centre Plaza Spot

TOPIC: Keep your hand away from the giant's mouth! This week, Dan and Merlin look back on summer and forward to the new school year. Also, some excellent ad hoc Business Analysis about the past and future of malls and other retail outposts. Your hosts respond to listener feedback and questions regarding domain name speculation and options for tracking multiple currencies

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Posted on 18 August 2017 | 8:45 pm

335: Personal Assistant to Darius

TOPIC: Start treating yourself like a dummy today. This week, Dan and Merlin talk about iOS 11, the trade-offs of running betas, and waking up to how we're using devices differently. Merlin has thoughts on the usefulness of the will to live. Dan has a new approach to dealing with PR pitches, and the boys undertake an exciting new social experiment. Your hosts answer listener questions about the mechanics of calendar scheduling and best practices for building new habits.

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Posted on 1 August 2017 | 8:00 pm

334: The Little White One

TOPIC: Mapping Your Focus and Motivation This week, Dan talks about a cool new addition to his service, and Merlin interviews him about how he likes to choose, plan, and evolve the features of an app. Two questions this week, both from Listener Jonathan. First, your hosts address the era of Peak TV, including how they choose their TV services and how they recommend narrowing in on finding the best stuff to watch (and when). Next, the evergreen topic of calendars and todos returns. How do you decide what goes where? And how do combine focus and motivation to derive a functional map of your time terrain? Dan considers acquiring a house mammal.

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Posted on 25 July 2017 | 7:00 pm